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Shortcuts: Art: Why a parody of fashion became all the Vogue

July 21, 2014

Mark Hooper

Scott King devised 12 covers he would run if he were in charge of American Vogue

Artist Scott King's How I'd Sink American Vogue doesn't so much celebrate fashion as take a well-timed sideswipe at the fashion establishment. Ostensibly a "year in the life" of American Vogue covers, King's project imagines what would happen if incumbent editor Anna Wintour were replaced by King himself - who steadily degenerates into a drink- and drug-induced psychosis over a 12-month tenure.

King, who cut his teeth as art director of i-D and creative director of Sleazenation magazines, takes pleasure in dismantling what he sees as the often pretentious, insidious and vacuous nature of fashion publishing, using his insider knowledge to push all the right buttons. His advertisement-free issue proudly proclaims "14 pages!" on its cover, while antiwar and poverty themes creep into an agenda that revels in pointing out the ridiculous nature of fashion headlines ("Naomi Klein: why wearing foreign shoes is wrong").

His project, part of Fashion Cultures, "a programme of events celebrating the role fashion plays within the culture of Glasgow", ends in a "Colonel Kurtz moment" as King's final issue proclaims "I am God!" beneath a picture of a budgie. Fashion heads will roll.

Elsewhere, fashion designer Pam Hogg hosts a pop-up shop, Pharrell Williams's Billionaire Boys Club reveals a potted history of the brand through print, and Grace Woodward details a life that's seen her take in everything from washing Naomi Campbell's knickers to being fashion director on The X Factor. Who needs parody?

Mark Hooper

Fashion Cultures, various venues, Glasgow, 24 July to 3 August.

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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